Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

General

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a personal savings plan registered with the Canadian federal government allowing you to save for the future on a tax-sheltered basis. What makes an RRSP special is that your contributions to it are tax deductible and your portfolio grows tax sheltered, which means it can grow faster.

Any individual who has earned income and files an income tax return in Canada can contribute to an RRSP until December 31 of the year they turn 71.

An RBC RRSP can hold a variety of investments, including Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), mutual funds, portfolio solutions and savings deposits. You can also invest in stocks and bonds through RBC Direct Investing™ and RBC Dominion Securities

Receipts for RRSP contributions made from March 2 to December 31 are mailed in late January; receipts for RRSP contributions made in the first 60 days of the year are mailed in mid-March. If you haven't received your tax slip or receipt within three weeks of the mailing date, please let us know by sending us a secure email through your Online Banking Message Centre, or by calling us at 1-800-463-3863.

There is a service fee of $150.00 for the transfer of property from an RRSP to a company that is not a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. This fee is subject to change. In the event this fee changes or new fees are introduced, RBC will notify clients by mail or electronically at least 30 days before the effective date of the change.

Opening an Account

You can open a new RRSP in two ways:

  • Call us at 1-800-463-3863. We'll be happy to discuss your goals for retirement and help you choose the type of investments that best suit your objectives.
  • Visit your branch. We recommend booking an appointment ahead of time by calling us at 1-800-769-2511.

  • Individual RRSP: The most common type of RRSP is a plan registered in your name. The investments held in the plan and all the tax benefits belong to you.
  • Spousal RRSP: When you contribute to a spousal RRSP, you still get the tax deduction but the plan is registered in your spouse's name. (Your spouse's contribution limit to his or her own plan is not affected.) It’s a great income-splitting option if one of you earns more than the other.
  • Locked-in RRSP: If you leave your employer before you retire, you may be offered the option to manage your vested pension funds. A Locked-in RRSP—Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) in some provinces—enables you do this.

Group RRSP: Some employers offer a Group RRSP, a collection of individual RRSPs for the company’s employees. As an employee, your RRSP contributions are taken from your pre-tax pay through payroll deductions, reducing your tax burden immediately.

Interested in taking the lead on your retirement savings strategy? Check out RRSPs at RBC Direct Investing for a wide range of investments and innovative tools to help you build your portfolio.

The #1 reason to contribute to an RRSP is to have another source of retirement income. While contributing to your RRSP over your working years, you receive an immediate tax benefit as the contributions are tax deductible. Your retirement savings then grows tax-sheltered within the plan. When you retire, you’ll have an income to draw on to supplement your other sources of income.

Contributions

You can contribute to an existing RRSP online through RBC Online Banking or the RBC Mobile app(opens new window) if you have an RBC Royal Bank chequing or savings account:

You can set up pre-authorized contributions (PACs) through the RBC Mobile app or RBC Online Banking.

To use the RBC Mobile app, sign in and follow the steps below:

  • From the Accounts screen, tap your RRSP.
  • Select “Set Up Pre-Authorized Contribution.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your transaction.

To use RBC Online Banking, sign in and follow the steps below:

  • From the Accounts Summary page, click your RRSP.
  • Select “Contribute” from the left menu of the RRSP Account Holdings page.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your transaction.

Try the RRSP calculator to see the benefits of regular, ongoing contributions.

You can manage pre-authorized contributions (PACs) through the RBC Mobile app or RBC Online Banking.

To use the RBC Mobile app, sign in and follow the steps below:

  • From the Accounts screen, tap your RRSP.
  • Select “Set Up Pre-Authorized Contribution” or “View Pre-Authorized Contribution.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your transaction.

Note: You cannot pause PACs through the RBC Mobile app.

To use RBC Online Banking, sign in and follow the steps below:

  • From the Accounts Summary page, select your RRSP and click “Manage Pre-Authorized Contributions” from the left menu.
  • Select “Modify” to make changes and follow the on-screen instructions.

Try the RRSP calculator to see the benefits of regular, ongoing contributions.

When you’re ready to resume contributions, simply Sign in to RBC Online Banking to access your account and click “Manage Pre-Authorized Contributions” once again.

Changes to your contributions will take effect in two business days.

To request a duplicate of your RRSP contribution receipt, send us a secure email through the Online Banking Message Centre with the details, or call us at 1-800-463-3863.

While you can contribute to an RRSP at any time, to be eligible for an RRSP deduction in a specific tax year, you must make contributions during that calendar year or up to 60 days into the following year.

There are contribution limits on RRSPs. To find out the exact amount you can contribute for the current year, check the most recent Notice of Assessment you received from the CRA.

As a guideline, your allowable RRSP contribution for the current year is the lower of:

  • 18% of your earned income from the previous year
  • The maximum annual contribution limit for the tax year
  • The remaining limit after any company sponsored pension plan contributions
Below are the maximum annual RRSP contribution limits for the last seven years:
Year Contribution Limit Per Year
2013 $23,820
2014 $24,270
2015 $24,930
2016 $25,370
2017 $26,010
2018 $26,230
2019 $26,500

If you make an RRSP contribution beyond your maximum allowable amount for a year, it is considered an over-contribution. There is a lifetime allowance of $2,000 for over-contributions. Generally, you will have to pay a penalty tax of 1% per month on excess contributions that exceed your RRSP deduction limit by more than $2,000.

Withdrawals

Although you can take money from your RRSP before you retire, it's not recommended because of the negative impact on your retirement plan— taxes on withdrawals are usually higher during your working years, plus you lose the contribution room used to make the original contribution. Withdrawals must be declared as income on your tax return at the end of the year and withholding tax will also be deducted from the amount you withdraw.

If you decide you would like to withdraw from your RRSP, you can do so in several ways:

  • Call us at 1-800-463-3863.
  • Visit your branch. We recommend calling 1-800-769-2511 to make an appointment.
  • If the money is held in an RRSP Savings Deposit or is available in a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), we can also process your withdrawal if you send a secure email with the details through the Online Banking Message Centre.

In some cases, yes. The Home Buyers' Plan lets you borrow funds from your RRSP to purchase your first home.

  • You can withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP.
  • The funds must be on deposit at least 90 days before you withdraw them.
  • At least 1/15 of the funds must be repaid each year, beginning two years after the funds are withdrawn.
  • A signed agreement to buy or build a qualifying home is required.
  • You can only participate in the program once.

For more information, speak to an RBC advisor:

In some cases, yes. The Lifelong Learning Plan lets you pay for training or education for yourself or your spouse (but not your children) with RRSP funds.

  • You can withdraw up to $10,000 per calendar year to finance full-time training or post-secondary education.
  • If you or your spouse meet disability requirements, then the training/education can be on a part-time basis.
  • $20,000 is the most that can be withdrawn, with withdrawals over a maximum of four consecutive years.
  • Amounts withdrawn are not subject to taxes upon withdrawal.
  • At least 10% of the amount borrowed must be repaid each year, over a maximum period of 10 years.

For more information, speak to an RBC advisor:

Yes, you can use your RRSP funds to cover an emergency situation. However, there is a tax consequence to doing so and an impact on your retirement plan. Any withdrawal is considered taxable income for the year and a withholding tax will be deducted upfront when you withdraw the funds.

Although you can take money from your RRSP before you retire, it's not recommended because of the negative impact on your retirement plan due to taxes on withdrawals. Withdrawals must be declared as income on your tax return at the end of the year and withholding tax will also be deducted from the amount you withdraw.

If you decide you would like to withdraw from your RRSP, we encourage you to first use our online booking tool to schedule a time to speak with an advisor by phone.

If the money is held in an RRSP Savings Deposit or is available in a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), we can also process your withdrawal if you send a secure email with the details through the Online Banking Message Centre.

Managing Your Investments Online

You can contribute to an existing RRSP online through RBC Online Banking or the RBC Mobile app(opens new window) if you have an RBC Royal Bank chequing or savings account:

You can view your RRSP account information, balances, Investor Profile, transaction history and download documents through RBC Online Banking(opens new window) or the RBC Mobile app(opens new window).

You can manage pre-authorized contributions (PACs) through the RBC Mobile app or RBC Online Banking.

To use the RBC Mobile app, sign in and follow the steps below:

  • From the Accounts screen, tap your RRSP.
  • Select “Set Up Pre-Authorized Contribution” or “View Pre-Authorized Contribution.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your transaction.

Note: You cannot pause PACs through the RBC Mobile app.

To use RBC Online Banking, sign in and follow the steps below:

  • From the Accounts Summary page, select your RRSP and click “Manage Pre-Authorized Contributions” from the left menu.
  • Select “Modify” to make changes and follow the on-screen instructions.

Try the RRSP calculator to see the benefits of regular, ongoing contributions.

When you’re ready to resume contributions, simply Sign in to RBC Online Banking to access your account and click “Manage Pre-Authorized Contributions” once again.

Changes to your contributions will take effect in two business days.

You can switch investment product types within your RRSP through RBC Online Banking.

You can manage pre-authorized contributions (PACs) through the RBC Mobile app or RBC Online Banking.

To use the RBC Mobile app, sign in and follow the steps below:

  • From the Accounts screen, tap your RRSP, TFSA or other investment account.
  • Select “View Pre-Authorized Contribution.”
  • Select “Edit” or “Delete.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your transaction.

Note: You cannot pause PACs through the RBC Mobile app.

To use RBC Online Banking, sign in and follow the steps below:

  • From the Accounts Summary page, select your investment account and click “Manage Pre-Authorized Contributions” from the left menu.
  • Select “Modify” to make changes and follow the on-screen instructions.

When you’re ready to resume contributions, simply Sign in to RBC Online Banking to access your account and click “Manage Pre-Authorized Contributions” once again.

Changes to your contributions will take effect in two business days.